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Iran says virus kills another 97, pushing death toll to 611

AP Tehran Iranian state TV said Saturday the new coronavirus outbreak has killed another 97 people, pushing the death toll in the country to 611 amid 12,729 confirmed cases. Iran is suffering from the worst outbreak in the Middle East. The virus has also infected a number of senior officials there. Saudi Arabia earlier said it would halt all international …

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Democrats pass Covid-19 relief package

IANS New York The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a massive relief package on Saturday to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the country, hours after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to deal with the crisis. The national emergency he declared on Friday will make as much as $50 billion available for fighting the fallout of …

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Apple closing all stores outside China until March 27 due to virus

AFP San Francisco Apple is closing all of its stores outside China until March 27 in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, CEO Tim Cook said. Cook said the firm had learned from steps taken in China, where the tech giant has just reopened its retail stores. “One of those lessons is that the most effective …

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New rockets target Iraq base where US, UK troops killed

AFP Baghdad A fresh spate of rockets targeted an Iraqi base north of Baghdad on Saturday where foreign troops are deployed, Iraqi and US security sources told AFP, in a rare daytime attack. It was the 23rd such attack since late October on installations across Iraq where American troops and diplomats are based, with the latest rounds growing deadlier. None …

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Coronavirus pandemic increasingly takes over daily lives, roils markets

AP Seoul The coronavirus pandemic has taken over daily lives around the globe, overwhelming hospitals, shuttering schools and offices, halting US presidential campaign rallies and world sports while increasing fears about the financial toll. The intensifying spread of COVID-19 beyond Asia has dashed hopes about a quick containment, even with travel and social events curbed drastically. And political leaders were …

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Nationalism is no response to COVID-19 pandemic: Macron

IANS Paris French President Emmanuel Macron has warned against the “nationalist withdrawal” as a pitfall to avoid at international levels in the fight against the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. “Two pitfalls must be avoided, one is the nationalist withdrawal because this virus has no passport,” Xinhua news agency quoted Macron as saying during a televised address to the nation on Thursday. …

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On mission to eradicate virus germs, China firms see the UV light

AFP Beijing Ultraviolet light is being beamed through public buses and lifts in China to wipe out any possible germs as part of efforts to clear the country of the deadly coronavirus epidemic. With companies under pressure to meet strict prevention measures for the virus, which has killed more than 3,100 people in China, some are turning to new technology …

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Kenya confirms first case of coronavirus in East Africa

AFP Nairobi Kenya announced Friday the first confirmed case of coronavirus in East Africa, as the region so far unscathed by the global pandemic scaled up emergency measures to contain its spread.  A 27-year-old Kenyan woman tested positive for the virus on March 12 in Nairobi, a week after returning from the United States via London.  She was in a …

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Rishi Sunak’s budget to make cost of UK visa higher

PTI London The UK Budget tabled by Indian-origin Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is set to make the cost of long-term visas to Britain higher with a major hike in the compulsory health fee charged on migrants from countries, including India. Sunak, born in the UK to a general practitioner father and pharmacist mother, announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) …

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Italy begins new phase of COVID-19 fight

IANS Rome Italy on Thursday began a new phase in its coronavirus fight with the closure of non-essential businesses, except pharmacies and grocery stores, aimed at containing the outbreak that has infected 12,462 people and killed 827 in the country. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday night called for “another step” to stem the spread of the virus, reports Efe …

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